Envinate Lousas 'Vinas de Aldea', Ribeira Sacra, Spain 2016

Envinate Lousas Vino Aldea.jpg
Envinate Lousas Vino Aldea.jpg
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Envinate Lousas 'Vinas de Aldea', Ribeira Sacra, Spain 2016


The buzz about the Ribeira Sacra region is only going to get louder when people taste wines like this. The region seems to be spearheading a new direction in Spanish wine towards lighter, fresher, silkier reds with lower alcohol and an appetising dryness that makes them so versatile with food, showing more of an affinity with the textural fragility of Pinot Noir, for example, than the ‘oak soups’ that you often find in modern Rioja or the Ribera del Duero. This is a fantastic introduction to Spain’s new bearing, which is really gathering pace in the ‘Atlantic’ appellations around Galicia, and I can't recommend it highly enough. The Lousas ‘Vinas de Aldea’ 2016 is Envinate's equivalent of a ‘village’ wine, in the Burgundian sense, sourced from 12 different parcels in various sub-regions of the Ribeira Sacra ranging from 15 to 60 years of age and located between 400 and 600 metres altitude on varied soils of slate and granite depending on the location.

The Vinas de Aldea 2016 is predominantly made from Mencia, with a few local varieties thrown in for good measure (Brancellao, Merenzao, Mouraton, Bastardo, Garnacha Tintorera), and the grapes were foot-trodden and fermented with whole-clusters (i.e. with the stems) in small open vats. It’s oh so fine and elegant and beautifully tailored to fit its shape. The aromas are pure and wild, suggestive of shiny cherry skins, fraises des bois, crushed rubies and purple flowers, while the flavours glide across the palate, evoking dark cherry, juicy red grapes, blood orange, a hint of white pepper (typical of Mencia) and a suggestion of cool minerals. It tastes best if you drink it slightly below room temperature. It’s an utterly beguiling Spanish red and you shouldn’t hesitate in snapping some up while stocks last, which they won't, because the total production is just 1,000 cases. 12.5% alc. Drink now-2022.

Press review:

Jamie Goode: 
"100% whole cluster. Lifted cherry and spice aromatics. Supple and slight meaty with some herby hints. Tangy, saline, grippy and fresh with lovely pretty floral fruit. Nice definition." 94 points

Jamie Goode (again): “Really perfumed on the nose with a peppery edge to the sweet floral raspberry and cherry fruit. Fresh, floral and vivid on the palate with bright red fruits, subtle pepper notes and some faint traces of meatiness. Good structure and freshness.” 94 points

Jancis Robinson (Tamlyn Currin): “Ripe plums and orange wrapped in cigar spice. Clear as a bell on the palate, with a cheeky streak of red bell pepper and chilli. Intense, dry tannins pushing against sculpted acidity. Vigorous energy. Drink 2013-2025” 16.5 points

Customer comments:

"I opened the Ribeira Sacra you recommended a couple of nights ago - astonishing stuff." - Mr J.W. (previous vintage)

"We tried one of the bottles last night. Reminded me a bit of Marzemino from Trentino (a good thing from my point of view). My wife (usually implacably opposed to Spanish wines) was favourably impressed being keen on this new fashion for unoaked, lower alcohol  wines."  - Mr A.N. (previous vintage)

"I loved the wine. So fresh and crunchy. Tannins so well managed." - Mrs N.P. (previous vintage)

"I tried the Envinate last night - very nice indeed!" - Mr L.Z. (previous vintage)

"It's fantastic!" - Mr. P.D. (previous vintage)

"We had a bottle last night and it is really superb stuff. " - Mr. D.M. (previous vintage)

"Just sipping one of the Ribeira Sacra wines we bought from you - lovely Mencia action going on here.  Love it. Lovely punchy red fruit and some nasty, dirty feral action going on under the covers." - Mr. P.J. (previous vintage)


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